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Evaluation of the impact of the revised National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Lifting Equation
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  • Alternative Title:
    Hum Factors
  • Description:
    Objective To evaluate the impact of the revised National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health lifting equation (RNLE). Background The RNLE has been used extensively as a risk assessment method for prevention of low back pain (LBP). However, the impact of the RNLE has not been documented. Methods A systematic review of the literature on the RNLE was conducted. The review consisted of three parts: characterization of the RNLE publications; assessment of the impact of the RNLE; and evaluation of the influences of the RNLE on ergonomic standards. The literature for assessing the impact was categorized into four research areas: methodology, laboratory, field and risk assessment studies using the Lifting Index (LI) or Composite LI (CLI), both of which are the products of the RNLE. Results The impact of the RNLE has been both widespread and influential. We found 24 studies that examined the criteria used to define lifting capacity used by the RNLE, 28 studies that compared risk assessment methods for identifying LBP, 23 studies that found the RNLE useful in identifying the risk of LBP with different work populations, and 13 studies on the relationship between LI/CLI and LBP outcomes. We also found evidence on the adoption of the RNLE as an ergonomic standard for use by various local, state, and international entities. Conclusion The review found 13 studies that link LI/CLI to adverse LBP outcomes. These studies showed a positive relationship between LI/CLI metrics and the severity of LBP outcomes.
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